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an additional burden. >>> u.s. defense secretary leon panetta is urging congress to strike a deal before the end of the year. that's to avoid a fiscal cliff which may result in a significant reduction in defense spending. the fiscal cliff is a term used to illustrate drastic fiscal tightening if congress fails to reach an agreement by year's end. such a situation is feared to trigger a plunge in the economy. panetta warned that defense spending will be subject to drastic cuts if lawmakers failed to reach a consensus. >> the worst thing that could happen from my perspective is that they just kick the can down the road. all that would wind up doing is continuing to present a shadow over the defense department and for that matter, the rest of government. >> the defense department is already planning to reduce its budget by about $500 billion over the coming ten years. panetta has voiced concern that further cuts could undermine barack obama's new defense strategy that lays more emphasis on the asia pacific region. >>> japanese officials are scratching their heads about how to deal with sluggish tra
peninsula is the common responsibility of concerned nations. it's also in their interest. >> a u.s. defense department official declined to comment on the analysis, but the official said the u.s. asks north korea to follow a u.n. security council ban on launches involving ballistic technology. >>> the people who wont to be south korea's next president are mapping out their strategies in the lead-up to voting day. official campaigning is now under way. and so for the next three weeks candidates will be crisscrossing the country to sell their message. park geun hye of the ruling saenuri party is one of the front-runners. she visited a national cemetery in seoul where she paid respects to those who died in the korean war and other continflicconflic. park expressed her determination to become the country's first female president. >> translator: south korea has to choose whether it wants to move forward with a prepared future or go back to the past which is marked with failure. we are now standing at a crucial crossroads. >> park also said she will promise to build a nation where everyone can le
korea. >>> north korean defense officials have transferred what appear to be ballistic missile parts to a launch site in the country's northwest. their neighbors to the south see it as a sign the north is building another long-range missile. south korean officials say u.s. satellite photos confirm the parts were transferred to the site. the north korean government failed in april to launch what it called a satellite-carrying rocket. the attempt came soon after ununassumed leadership. the north korean military may carry out a new test to make up for the april mishap despite criticism from around the world. south korean defense minister kim kwan-jin says he expects an act of provocation soon. south korea's presidential election is set for next month. >>> conservationists around the world mourn the death this year of a 100-year-old giant tortoise named lonesome george. he was thought to be the last of his kind. lonesome george belonged to a subspecies native to the tiny island of la pinta in the galapagos islands. conservationists believe it became extint wheng george died in june. but
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